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Is the Concept of Alimony Outdated?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

alimony oudated conceptDivorce cases certainly involve a change of circumstance for both parties, whether the dissolution of the marriage was expected or not. As such, certain laws are in place to ease the transition for one party, or both parties in some cases. Specifically, the concept of alimony is generally intended to allow an ex-spouse who may have sacrificed a career or education in favor of the family gain some financial stability for a period of time upon divorce.

The law in most states, including Illinois, sets guidelines for alimony and factors for the court to consider in determining an amount of alimony award, if any. However, there are a number of other states with arguably antiquated laws which allow for lifetime receipt of alimony with little consideration given to factors such as length of marriage or a change in circumstance of either party. Lawmakers and advocates across the country are debating the concept of alimony and whether the idea of post-divorce spousal maintenance is outdated.

Positions on Alimony

Not surprisingly, there are supporters of both sides of the alimony argument. Opponents of the idea of alimony say that in current times, women, who are often the recipients of an alimony award, are more than capable of getting an education and having a successful career, and are even achieving these goals more often than men. They say the idea of alimony payments from an ex-spouse is outdated and goes against principles of feminism.

On the other hand, supporters of alimony say that a lifetime award is extremely rare and that there are cases in which alimony payments are not only proper, but necessary. Women often make career and other personal sacrifices within the context of marriage, and so it is not uncommon for divorcing women to be at a disadvantage because of this fact. Supporters of alimony payments take the position that any award of alimony should be decided on a case by case basis in light of the circumstances presented. Particularly in cases where the marriage lasted decades and the woman sacrificed a career to care for a home and children, an alimony award would certainly be appropriate in order for the ex-spouse to not be left in dire circumstances. In other cases, where the marriage did not last as long or where the parties are still relatively young with no children, alimony awards may not be as necessary.

Divorce Attorney

While some cases present stronger arguments for alimony than others, it remains clear that alimony is a necessity for some divorcing parties. The current alimony law in Illinois sets parameters and factors for the court to consider in awarding alimony, and an experienced divorce attorney can counsel their clients on what they may be able to expect in light of the facts of their case. The team of Wheaton family law attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC has represented clients in numerous divorce matters with positive results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We have offices located in Warrenville, Wheaton, and Chicago.
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